Kieran Weeder chats to Dan Carter about DSUnderwear
We sit down with local businessman and director of DSUnderwear, Kieran Weeder to discuss the future of his brand and an exciting new project for 2019.
So, what is DSUnderwear?
DSUnderwear is one of the leading providers of men’s underwear and premium underwear in the UK.
What differentiates you from your competition?
I think one of the biggest things for me is the sense of DSUnderwear as the company but there’s also the face behind the company. I’ve always had quite an input into how it’s ran as the managing director and I put that out onto social media and it kind of allows our customers to see the story behind the brand so it’s not just a big corporation where you don’t see what’s changing. Our customers will have a say in how we do things.
Is it only relevant to the LGBT community or does it encompass everybody?
Predominately it is LGBT+ people who shop with us, but we do have straight customers. You know, everybody needs cute underwear, but I would say that 90% of our market is the gay community.
Are the products British produced?
So that all depends, we work with designer brands all around the world and it all depends on where they make their stock. Some of our stuff is made in Australia, some of it comes from France, some from London. It all depends on which brand we are looking at.
And how do you primarily market?
It’s mostly through social media. We have paid for an advertisement every now and then in a magazine, but it is social media that has really built the business. We would never have got to the position we are now without Twitter. We do a lot through Facebook, but we always seem to get into trouble with that platform.
You’ve had a lot of Facebook bans, haven’t you?
Yeah, I think last year I spent nearly 7 of the 12 months banned from Facebook on my personal account.
Do you think that’s a massive double standard?
Yeah, it is something I always get frustrated with. A lot of the images that we use are given to us by the brands, so we don’t actually take the pictures. Occasionally, we do our own photo shoots, but a lot of the stock images are given to us from the designers and it seems to be okay with certain companies to publish those pictures but whenever DSUnderwear posts it we run into a problem. At the same time, if you have a woman in a swimsuit that seems to be fine but when you have two men in boxers.
You’ve recently announced that you are heavily investing into DSUnderwear. What can you tell us that is going to change?
There is a lot of investment at the minute across the board but as a separate entity I am investing £15,000 into the company and that is basically to keep it changing and to keep it growing. We are going to continue to work with our existing brands but we’re going to buy a lot of new stock from the likes of Andrew Christian, Marco-marco to name a few. When the Brexit vote happened, we did scale back on brands that we worked with to see what would happen, but this investment is going to help get a lot of the brands back on board. A lot of the old brands will be coming back and a lot of new styles, but also new brands will be joining the website over the next 4 – 6 weeks.
As a young businessman what would you say to people who have ideas?
I have not been called that for a while! But, do it. I’ve always lived my life in a sense of, ‘if I’ve got an idea, I’ll run with it, I’ll trust my gut and if it fails, what’s the worst that could happen? You just start from scratch and you can do it all over again. It’s always better to try it and fail than look back in 15 years wondering where you could have been?’
On the subject of business, you are launching a new business, aren’t you?
Well, DSUnderwear in its 4th year now and that’s doing quite well. I’ve had the idea of launching a home-store so I’m going to run with that. That will be launching around the middle of February and it’s a mixture of affordable but nice home furnishings right up to the premium, luxury styles of furniture. That will be called KWHome and I’ve just invested £50,000 of my own money into the new company. It will have everything from mirrors to lamps to side boards and beds. We will initial run this all online but in May we are looking to open a physical shop, I am looking at the Arndale or the Northern Quarter. We’ve created the Weeder group which will encompass DSUnderwear and KWHome and future projects.
I’d like to thank Kieran for taking the time to discuss DSUnderwear and his new business. For those of you with a Canal Street Card you can benefit from a 10% discount by using discount code: canalst10 on all purchases for either business!
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